In the battle of Solferino in 1859, the Slovenian infantry lieutenant Joseph Trotta saves the life of Emperor Franz Joseph I. For his deed, Trotta is raised to the peerage and decorated with a medal and thus leaves irrevocably the path of his rural ancestors. So begins the history of the Trotta family in a time in which the Habsburg reign comes to yet another glorious peak. The Emperor is powerful, the empire is big and it seems that the existing world order will last forever. Yet still, behind this splendour, one can feel a kind of fatigue, a rigidity, an expectation of decline and dissolution. From the knobbed strength of the “Hero of Solferino”, there is not a sign left in his grandson, the soft and sensitive Carl Joseph von Trotta. He realizes that the forces will determine the future but he is not able to play a part in that. The rise and fall of the Trotta family reflects the last decades of the Danube Monarchy. The Radetzky March is seen as the principal work of the great novelist Joseph Roth.